HIV/HCV Co-infection: Burden of Disease and Care Strategies in Appalachia

Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review is to address infection with HIV and hepatitis C in the Appalachian region of the USA and the driving forces underlying this epidemic. We seek to discuss epidemiology of disease and the possible interventions to reduce incidence and burden of disease in this resource-limited area.

Recent Findings: The rise of the opioid crisis has fueled a rise in new hepatitis C infection, and a rise in new HIV infection is expected to follow. Injection drug use has directly contributed to the epidemic and continues to remain a risk factor. Men who have sex with men remains a significant risk factor for HIV acquisition as well.

Summary: Progress has been made in the battle against HIV and, to a lesser extent, hepatitis C, but much more can be done. Limited data on co-infection with HIV/HCV are currently available for this at-risk region, but it is clear that Appalachia is highly vulnerable to co-infection outbreaks. A multipronged approach that includes advances in assessment of co-infection and education for both patients and clinicians can help to recognize, manage, and ideally prevent these illnesses.